Xander grinned as he set the barbell back down on the weight bench. It had taken him a week to be able to run thirty miles without stopping. He'd timed himself and learned he was maintaining a pace just shy of the world record for the two hundred meter dash. There was room for improvement, always was.
He never experienced the muscle soreness he'd expected and that was due to his healing ability. Once he was comfortable with his progress in running, he started lifting weights in the school's free weight room. There was clumsy progress at first, but real progress. His hour long sessions in the weight room took place every day. After a week of this he was comfortably bench pressing his own body weight, which for some reason had gone up by thirty pounds with little noticeable difference to his body's proportions.
His training regimen however was interrupted by something he never liked.... a talent show.
And as with most school functions, someone ended up dead.
Xander and Buffy stared at the heartless body of the student who'd been part of the dance group. Xander could smell something...off about whoever had done this to her.
“Hey, Buffy, you trust me?” Xander asked her.
“Kind of the wrong time to be asking that Xander.” Buffy said.
“What if I told you I can track who did this?” Xander asked her.
“You serious?” She asked him.
“Yeah.” Xander told her while staring at her, being completely serious.
“Let's go.” she told him.
“That's him, Marc.” Xander said.
“You're certain?” Buffy asked.
“I wouldn't lie about this Buffy.” Xander said.
Buffy steeled herself and went to talk to the boy, who turned into a demon moments into the conversation.
After a minute of fighting, Xander grabbed a fireman's ax out of an unlocked cabinet and tossed it to Buffy.
Marc died when the blade of the ax was embedded into his forehead. The body dissolved shortly after that.
Elsewhere a small wooden puppet stopped moving on its own.
“How did you know?” Buffy asked Xander.
“The nose knows. All I'm saying.” Xander said with a shrug.
“This from being possessed or something?” Buffy asked him.
“Dunno Buffy. It's just a thing.” He told her. “By the way, Snuggle fabric softener?” He asked.
Buffy blushed. “My mom buys the laundry stuff.” she told him. Most of what she was wearing had been dry cleaned except for her... she didn't want to finish that thought.
“Uh-huh.” Xander said with a grin. He'd successfully distracted the Slayer from asking questions.
The talent show was a horrible horrible experience for everyone involved. Cordelia's singing actually caused ringing in Xander's ears as it began a feedback loop in the sound system.
Xander's own belching the alphabet went over slightly better, though most students weren't going to be drinking root beer anytime soon.
Now that the horror of displaying what one could possibly consider talents to the other students was over, Xander headed back to the gym. He had actual work to do.
It was on his afternoon run that weekend that he heard something that got his attention. It was the screams of an adult yelling at someone for losing a game. Having heard such anger from his own father before, Xander quickly changed directions and headed towards the sounds and found an adult wearing a baseball uniform standing over an unconscious boy wearing a similar outfit. The man was about to pick up a baseball bat when Xander decked him.
“Kid, you okay?” Xander asked the boy as he checked the kid's pulse.
The boy's eyes fluttered open for a moment before closing again. Nodding to himself Xander went and found the nearest pay phone. He had to call the police on this.
After some questioning from the uniforms who'd arrived on scene, Xander filled out a statement and signed it. He then was allowed to ride to the hospital with the uniforms so he could see how the boy was doing.
When he got there he was thanked by the boy's parents and was allowed to visit the boy.
“We got him kid.” Xander told the boy who was in a light coma. “We just need you to wake up and tell the police what he did to you.”
Somehow, that did the trick. The boy woke up a few minutes later. The police questioned the kid with his parents in the room. The coach wouldn't be around for quite a while.
His good deed done for the day, Xander headed for home.
And so it went for another week and a half. The school year was approaching its end and things were going all right for the Xand-man. That was until the earthquake. Buffy was becoming more agitated and Willow had stumbled across a few dead bodies in the school.
Xander had considered asking Buffy to the spring dance but had decided against it considering how high her stress levels have been lately.
On the night of the dance, Xander headed into the library to ask Giles a question about a book on demons he'd borrowed from the Watcher. What he found in the library was a very unconscious Watcher.
Grabbing the smelling salts from the first aid kit Giles kept in his office, Xander managed to awaken the librarian. “Buffy!” Giles said before taking in his surroundings.
“Giles, where is she?” Xander asked him
“There was a prophecy.” Giles said. “The Slayer will die and the Master will rise. She went to go stop him. She'll die Xander. There's nothing we can do.” Giles said softly.
“Where?” Xander asked him.
“The tunnels.” Giles told him.
Xander growled at Giles and picked him up by his coat. “When I get back, the two of us are going to talk.” He said to the Watcher before grabbing two stakes and an ax.
Xander ran as he followed Buffy's scent trail. The tunnels were something he'd stayed away from since Jesse, but they were suspiciously empty now. He made his way through the maze of tunnels without facing anything. Something that worried him more then he'd care to admit at the moment.
He came into what looked to be ruins of an old church and found Buffy face down in a pool of water.
“Jesus, Buffy hang on!” Xander said as he ran to her. He checked for a pulse and found none. “No!” He screamed as he began performing CPR on her. It took a few tries but she coughed up the water and sat up.
“Xander.” Buffy said softly.
“Welcome back Buffy. How do you feel?” Xander asked her.
“Strong. Let's go.” She told him.
“Right behind you Buffy.” Xander said with a grin. “Nice dress by the way.” He told her.
“Thanks, my mom got it for me. The Master's topside. I have to stop him.” She said.
They both ran through the tunnels, Xander easily keeping up with the slayer.
They made it topside and found a huge number of vampires around the school. “You take the master, I'll take care of these.” Xander said.
“You sure?” Buffy asked him.
Xander flexed his left hand and claws came out of his fingertips. “Yeah, I got this.” HE told her.
Buffy stared at his hand then at Xander. “We are so talking about this later.” She told him.
“Sure Buffy, slay now though.” Xander said as he gripped the ax tighter in his right hand.
“Yeah.” Buffy said before jumping up to the top of the roof of the school.
“That is so cool.” Xander said before he embedded the ax into the head of a vampire and ramming his clawed hand into its chest piercing its heart. “Then again, so is that.” He said with a grin as the vampire dusted around his arm. He laughed as he began slaughtering the vampires around him, much to their suprise.
“Let's cut loose!” Xander said with a laugh as the vampires realized he was a greater threat than they thought.
It was a battered and still slightly bruised Xander that made his way into the library.
He saw the non human skeleton impaled on a wooden beam. “The Master?” He asked Buffy.
“Dust. What are you?” Buffy asked as she watched the bruises on his face recede and disappear, leaving his face bloody, but normal.
“Mutant.” Xander said as he set the ax down.
“My word!” Giles said “Mutants are exceedingly rare. What sort of powers do you have?”
“Healing, better senses and claws. I've also been working out a lot lately.” Xander said as he sat down. “I also weigh about a hundred pounds more than I used to. It started after I was depossessed.” Xander told them.
Everyone was quiet for a few moments before Willow said something.
“So now what?” Willow asked.
“The Master's dust. I say we party.” Buffy said.
“I'm in.” Xander said with a smile.
And so they did.
Next time on Alexander Creed, “what I did on my summer vacation”